Stakeholders seek community awareness against flooding
Stakeholders, traditional and community leaders in riverine communities, where hydro dams are located in Niger State, have been urged to educate their people on the need to avoid building on or blocking waterways to prevent flood disaster experienced during the rainy season.
The Chief Operating Officer, North South Power Company Limited, Shiroro Hydroelectric Power Station, Ugochukwu Chioke, gave the advise at the 2022 stakeholders flood sensitisation and awareness forum, held at Az-Zahra lodge in Minna.
Chioke noted that the management of the power station has made the awareness campaign a yearly exercise to enable the organisation interface with inhabitants of riverine areas to discuss issues about their environment, especially during the rainy season.
He emphasised that the flood disaster experienced this year did not emanate from the dam reservoir. He added that the North South Power Station stored not less than three billion cubic of water; and that this year, it has not stored up to that level.
Chioke noted that flood disasters experienced by riverine communities were as a result of overflow of water from rivers. He, however, cautioned people to allow free flow of water when it rains.
He also reassured that the firm would not relent in its efforts towards providing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to the host communities whenever the need arises.
In his keynote address, the Executive Vice Chairman, North South Power Company Limited, Shiroro Hydro Electricity Power Station, Olubunmi Peters, represented by the company’s consultant on CSR, Hassan Abdullahi, revealed that the sensitisation and awareness workshop was organised to educate people in communities, as well as riverian dwellers involved in any form of water-based activities, upstream and downstream of Shiroro Hydro Electric Power Plant, on flood.
Peters stressed that households in Nigeria are affected every year by flooding, causing catastrophic economic, environmental and social damage in some states.
He added that it is time they developed new strategies by identifying most effective and economical remedies to flooding, assuring that the power station would be better if it prepares communities on how to protect themselves against the devastation caused by increasingly climate change.
He lauded Federal Government for approving the National Flood Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan. He urged states and operational stakeholders to implement the plan to advance national development.
According to him, the plan, once implemented, would provide more resilience and effective response measures to mitigate the impact of flooding on Nigerians.
He called on host communities to continue to be peaceful, law abiding and discipline in all their endeavours.
The community leaders, representing riverine areas, lauded the management of the power station for, according to them, the opportunity to interface, which they described as a welcome development, promising to sensitise their people adequately.